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Perseus000

Purifying Mercury Metal

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Hi,

just have a question on how to purify mercury using acids. What would be the best way to purify mercury using nitric acid and then to precipitate pure mercury metal?

I only have a small amount of mercury but I’m not sure what metals are mixed with it. I thought maybe dissolving in nitric acid and then using copper to precipitate mercury but I’m not sure if it will leave the rest of the metals in solution. Any salts that can precipitate the mercury pure? Just like how we use sodium metabisulfite to precipitate gold metal for example.

 

thanks .

Edited by Perseus000

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Why you need it, you create a lot of toxic waste. Better sell it und buy clean metal from a supplier. This is not for home.

The normal way the distillation under low pressure, but also not for at home.

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2 hours ago, chenbeier said:

Why you need it, you create a lot of toxic waste. Better sell it und buy clean metal from a supplier. This is not for home.

The normal way the distillation under low pressure, but also not for at home.

It’s just a few grams. Want to keep it for collection and looking to clean it and store it sealed.

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On the whole, this is a bad idea- lots of toxic waste for no great purpose.

Never bath in Irish Stew,
It's the most illogical thing to do,
But should you go against my reasoning,
Don't fail to add the appropriate seasoning !

Author: Spike Milligan


OK so, now we have got that out of the way...

You can dissolve mercury in a solution of iodine and potassium iodide.
And, if you make that solution alkaline, most metals will not dissolve, so you can filter them off as hydroxides etc.

If you then add formaldehyde, it will reduce mercury back to the metal and precipitate it. Some other metals will remain in solution.

So that removes most of the metals from the mercury.

If you need to ask for details then you don't know enough about it to do it safely- so don't try.

Distillation works better but is really not a "home experiment" thing.
Electrolytic purification is an interesting idea, but probably too difficult - and generates lots of mercury waste.

But the best advice is just don't bother.
 

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32 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

On the whole, this is a bad idea- lots of toxic waste for no great purpose.

Never bath in Irish Stew,
It's the most illogical thing to do,
But should you go against my reasoning,
Don't fail to add the appropriate seasoning !

Author: Spike Milligan


OK so, now we have got that out of the way...

You can dissolve mercury in a solution of iodine and potassium iodide.
And, if you make that solution alkaline, most metals will not dissolve, so you can filter them off as hydroxides etc.

If you then add formaldehyde, it will reduce mercury back to the metal and precipitate it. Some other metals will remain in solution.

So that removes most of the metals from the mercury.

If you need to ask for details then you don't know enough about it to do it safely- so don't try.

Distillation works better but is really not a "home experiment" thing.
Electrolytic purification is an interesting idea, but probably too difficult - and generates lots of mercury waste.

But the best advice is just don't bother.
 

I see. That’s something I cannot do and then to spend more money just to clean small amounts of metal. Not worth it.

thanks so much for your help. Very much appreciated.

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